From quick stress-survival strategies to mood-brightening foods, here's your cheat sheet to holiday cheer.
1. Elevate your mood with sunlight –
It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of Americans every year, says Judith Orloff, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles.
To ease SAD symptoms, spend time outdoors or near a window on sunny days, or ask your doc about phototherapy (a treatment using a box that emits full-spectrum light providing 10,000 lux of luminosity).
2. Healthy Fats for the Brain -
Fat is back, and with good reason. Healthy fats like those found in nuts and fish are crucial for brain health and may play a role in fighting depression.
In a large review of studies, people eating the most fish had a 17% lower risk of depression than those eating the least fish. Another review found that omega-3 fish oil supplements boosted the effects of medication in people with depression, compared with taking a placebo.
“Omega-3 fatty acids from seafood and monounsaturated fats from nuts, avocados, and olive oil appear to be particularly important and beneficial to our mental and brain health,” Jacka says. . Our products, OmegAvail Synergy and XanthOmega Krill Oil.
3. Take a whiff of Citrus and add in Vitamin C-
Researchers studying depression have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. For an all-day pick-me-up, dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief to tuck in your pocket.
For the perfect quick defense against drama. In a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, German researchers attempted to stress out 120 people by asking them to give a speech and then answer difficult math problems. Researchers found that those participants who had been given high doses of vitamin C before the stress-fest had lower blood pressure levels and concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.
Stellar C and C+Biofizz
Stellar C and C+Biofizz are rich in vitamin C (from a mixture of ascorbic acid and acerola fruit) and plant bioflavonoids (hesperidin, rutin, quercetin and mixed citrus bioflavonoids), known for their immunoprotective properties. In addition to supporting healthy immune function, these nutrients have been used historically for applications such as maintaining healthy veins, capillaries, skin, hair and nails by supporting normal collagen production and repair.
We talk too little about vitamin C’s role in healing the gut and maintaining structural integrity. Vitamin C is also a key antioxidant. Liposomal vitamin C is the best, for almost complete absorption. Only 1000 mg. daily is needed for a maintenance dose. The dosage is 1 teaspoon daily.
4. Steel Cut Oatmeal
A perky disposition depends on unrefined carbohydrates. Serotonin, your brain's primary mood-boosting neurotransmitter, comes from the amino acid tryptophan, which needs carbohydrates to reach the brain, according to Judith Wurtman, PhD, former MIT research scientist and co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet. Problem is, as cute as Christmas cookies are, their refined carbs spur an overproduction of insulin that's not only linked to sugar crashes but spikes in stress hormones as well. Reach for warm unrefined oatmeal instead. You can even add extra protein like our PurePea, Pure Paleo, or Pure PaleoMeal, to ward off cravings. It contains the healthy carbohydrates and fiber needed to boost your serotonin levels for a full three hours.
5. Walk away from Worries
"The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep," says nutrition-and-wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD. Aim for a brisk, half-hour walk every day. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
6. Sleep Better with 5-HTP
This plant extract is thought to increase serotonin, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep. Dr. Orloff recommends 150 milligrams daily. If you take antidepressant medications, talk to your doc before trying it. Our products, 5-HTP Synergy and 5-HTP Supreme
7. While studies suggest a link between low levels of vitamin D and depression, what’s unclear is whether it is a cause of depressive symptoms or a consequence of being depressed, says the Vitamin D Council. Some scientists suspect that vitamin D may play a role in converting tryptophan into the mood-elevating hormone serotonin.
Sadly, the new World Journal of Psychiatry report notes, Americans aren't eating as much of these fish—or any fish in general—as they should. "Average annual seafood intake for Americans is 14.6 pounds," the authors note, "and the USDA estimates that 80 to 90% of the population fails to meet the recommendation of two servings of seafood per week."
Good levels are 50-75 ng/ml - body weight dosing for Vitamin D is 35 IU per pound body weight. Our products, Vitamin D Synergy, Vitamin D Supreme, Vitamin D Complex, Liposomal D, and Vitamin D Ultra.
8. Savor a Spicy Meal - Hot foods trigger the release of endorphins—the natural chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being, Dr. Kulze says.
9. As it turns out, there’s a link between digestive and brain health. Scientists call it the “gut-brain axis.” Important brain chemicals, including the mood-boosting hormone serotonin, are produced in the gut. So, the theory goes, without a sufficient supply of healthy gut bacteria, your mood can suffer. Prebiotics provide food for probiotics and in so doing improve the overall ecosystem of the gut and immune system, also reducing inflammation. Prebiotics are a source of insoluble fiber. Our products, PrebioMed XOS, Probiotic Synergy, Probiotic Supreme DF, Probiospore and Probiomed.
All products are available at theeherbdoc.ehealthpro.com use promo code Healthy15Always for additional savings. Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday.